I Hate Bullies!

I hate bullies and I’m willing to bet most of you do too.

We tend to think of bullying as something that occurs with children on the playground or at school events, but what happens when bullies grow up and words become fists designed to demean and devalue your opinions as soon as they leave your mouth.

I recently had a multi-commented exchange with someone on a friend’s Facebook page after I commented on a video she’d posted. The exchange got became heated when I got into a back and forth bit with someone listed as a friend of hers. Even though I discerned fairly quickly that he needed to have the last word, I could not help responding to the misinformation and high-handed way he was twisting the truth to suit his argument.

That he tossed the word ‘Rape’ into what he assumed would be the final death-blow to the exchange was no surprise. Having seen the image below on a website bearing his name, I think I can see what he thinks about women and their role.

The name of his website has been removed from the top of the door. (No need to give him anymore attention by sending you there and there’s so little to see that it would be a waste of your time.)

Name Calling

As you can see below, he defaulted to accusing me of name calling when I identified a list of bad behaviors he shared with a few other people who communicated in the same way.

Bullies like MF always try to deflect in conversations they want to win and will say whatever to put you on the defensive or try shock you into speechlessness. Tossing out comments like ” What’s going to happen to health care when your people finally rape the last wealthy citizen?” tell me all I need to know about him.

And let me say this, if I had been in a name calling mood I could have easily come up with a few ugly and insulting ones beginning with his initials, but you know how I hate to swear on my blog so I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blanks after you read the exchange below.

My friend Kimberly posted a George Carlin video on her Facebook page that sparked the drama below.

  • MF :This one always makes me chuckle. He will go down in history as one of the greatest observers of mankind and the human condition, and I loved him for it. BUT, when I hear this rant, all I can do is smile and say, that rigged, tilted table worked out pretty good for you, George!
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  • EH: I just had a bookstore owner here in Cornwall tell me that one of the biggest problems America had was with the election process. He was amazed by how much money can be ‘donated’ to political campaigns and the impact of all that backscratching later. He moved on to the lack of access for all to health care in the US and why Americans would continue to make snide comments about the British health care system when at least they have access to care. A standout difference for me is that NO ONE loses their house or life here because they cannot afford to pay.
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  • MF: No one here doesn’t have access to health care. It’s a myth I’m happy to disprove for anyone willing to make a “field trip” with me. As for no one losing their house because they cannot afford to pay…How profane! Then why in the world would anyone actually pay!??? Maybe I’ve got it all wrong…I mean Europe is in such great shape these days, who am I to question how things get done over on that side of the pond. The brat riots of the past Summer were a blast to watch on TV. Never get enough of hearing “I want, I want, I want” in those cute accents!
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  • EH: ‎” No one here doesn’t have access to health care. ” You have got to be kidding! There are plenty of people who fall in between and are not able to have proper health care. Don’t make me spell it out. I too could take you on a “field trip” to disprove what you say. And I see I should have said … those with heath insurance who still lose their homes and everything they have because their co-pay or out of pocket costs exceed everything they’ve saved. Good luck to you or someone you love if you ever need more than you have in your bank account. As for the riots to which you refer, you might wish to read this historical account on London rioting going back to 1189 before you try your hand at humor on the subject. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_riots_in_LondonSee More
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  • MF: Hilarious. I doubt you could spell much of anything out to me, much less this subject. Believe what you want. If anyone doesn’t get health care in this Country, it’s because they choose not to go. Doctors give away hundreds of thousands of dollars in free care every year to patients they are forced to treat, or lose standing in the hospitals they work out of. If you don’t get treatment here, you simply didn’t go. I know that’s hard for the brainwashed left to get their arms around…We’re such a mean place and all, but that’s reality, and I pray that at some point folks like you will make some effort to educate yourselves instead of watching Michael Moore movies.
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  • MF:  And the list of riots and their reasons is really funnier than the brats of last Summer. I’ll give that one to you. Hilarious stuff you all have destroyed property and killed people over. I mean, from wrestling and hookers, to a gin tax and tailors? Wow! Wish we had TV back then!
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  • BBC(Another commenter) I know someone who has private insurance and has paid on-time for all his life. He has AIDS and they changed his prescription co-pay AFTER he renewed his policy. He has to come up with $6000 up front for 3 months of life-saving medication that he only used to have co-pay $200 a month. He can’t afford his mortgage payment or other bills if he buys the drugs. He and his partner are middle class, pay their bills on time and have been screwed by an insurance company they have been loyal to for years. There is a waiting list for the drug assistance program that he does not qualify for because he has private insurance. Their household makes too much money for medicaid and now he is more than 50 days w/o meds that save his life. He could die. Thank you America for your AWESOME health care… This is what happens when corporations are in charge of who lives and dies. They will choose death if it saves them a buck every time…
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  • MF: And government would naturally do it better, Beth? What does government do better? Where do they operate more efficiently. Your friend’s story is quite sad. He should have read his contract. That’s what a “policy” is. They can’t “change” anything that isn’t in the policy upfront, meaning there was a clause applicable to co-pay changes. Maybe he didn’t read it or understand it, but it was there. Public health care plans around the world operate almost completely free of any contract with citizens, meaning you really are at their mercy…No contract whatsoever.
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  • BBC: Marc, In European countries where they have nationalized healthcare, he would get his meds. Of course he read his contract. They sent him his new policy AFTER he paid to renew by phone after being assured he was renewing the same policy with no changes. Even if he did not, it is wrong for companies to kill their clients out of greed. This isn’t an isolated incident many families who have members are falling through the crack just like this. AND my friend doesn’t give a rats ass about your sympathy – he just wants to li by the live. He has a case to sue but he will likely be gone by then…
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  • EH: ‎@ MF~ It depends on the government now doesn’t it. In the UK my drug co-pay is the equivalent of a one time payment of $165 for the year. That’s for any and all meds I might need. Cost of any doctor visits, MRI, CT scans, or whatever else … zero! @ Beth ~ I’m really sorry about the state of things with your friend. Contrary to what MF says insurance companies do find all kinds of ways to cheat people regardless of what’s in their contract with you. It’s a vile industry and they lie! People should not have to die or go bankrupt because they are ill.
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  • MF: Why would he get his meds in European countries, where they DON’T even approve current U.S. drug treatments for something as “common” as CANCER???

    And I’ve seen the UK plan in action, Elizabeth, it’s no where near what you’re telling us. The waiting list, and number of approved treatments isn’t even in the same ballbark as treatments available in the U.S. But if it’s so good, then Beth’s friend should hop a plane and get treated for free…They do that over there, don’t they? You know, like we do for Mexican citizens here.
    OH!!! And BTW…You all are apparently going broke faster than us! What happens to your plan then? Guess you’ll just have to riot some more…
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  • MF:  ‎”People should not have to die or go bankrupt because they are ill.”
    That statement sums up so much…It really says it all.
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  • EH: M ~ You have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to care in the UK! I live here, you don’t, and I’ve seen the plan in action here as well as in the US. I lived with the US healthcare system for 48 years and worked in it as well so I do know a great deal about it. You’re spouting the same crap people like Limbaugh and Beck do to mislead the masses who are too scared or ignorant to discover the truth on their own. You appear to be cut from the same blowhard bullying cloth of misinformation that L & B come from … as least you share the same communication style. Loud, condescending, and obnoxious, with a total lack of empathy or compassion for others … I think that about describes your approach to difficult topics.
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  • MF: And so what do all those insults make you. Stay brainwashed. Here’s an easy way to “prove” which one of us is right.

    Where does the world turn for health care? Cuba, Venezuela, Great Britain…HA! I’ve been in our system 47 years so I’measy qualified to challenge this myth. As for your English system and the bureaucracy of the government system…An oldie but goodie that shows just how these bureaucrats run a system:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1579010/AandE-patients-left-in-ambulances-for-hours.html
    And you still can’t come up with an answer about being broke. What’s going to happen to health care when your people finally rape the last wealthy citizen? What happens to all that “free” stuff then?
    As I said many times…If ignorance is really bliss, the Left hails from Eden.
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  • EH: No insults, just fact … you showed your colors, I called you on it, simple as that. It’s funny how you can say all that you do in the way that you do and tell me I’m insulting to you! Right! The UK is actually in a much better financial position than the US right now, but it’s not just about US versus UK dollars, most of the world’s economy is in a bad way. I didn’t address it because we were discussing healthcare, the insurance industry, and why you were giving misinformation as if it were a fact. As for your link, I could counter with many from the US including all day waits in the ER’s of America where people died waiting to be seen. No system is perfect, but this one works well most of the time. I can also talk of how I’ve seen air ambulances land in fields in our village to take men in their 80′s to the hospital for a heart attack or a teenage girl who fell off her horse … cost to the patient, nothing. We pay taxes here to support the NHS and it’s not the huge tax numbers that Limbaugh, Beck, and others claim. It’s no more than I ever paid in the US, taxes are just allocated differently in the UK. Medical care is not a big money-making enterprise in the UK, it’s designed to take care of the people, not make them slaves to high premiums and a false sense of security. Now, we’ve cluttered Kimberly’s wall with more than I’d like to admit, so feel free to have the last word. I’m done! My apologies to Kimberly for such a public display in her space.
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    MF: No facts; only arrogance. The first defense of the Left for almost a Century. Play it to someone else. You got called, and your refusals answer all I needed to know. Thanks…It was a kick…Don’t break anyone’s windows while enjoying the weekend.

Funny how he keeps bringing up the recent riots over here. Does he have a point or am I just supposed to shut my mouth and concede defeat because he thinks he’s clever?

Life After Cancer – Now

When I was 31, I went to a dermatologist for a reason I can’t remember now and during course of my visit, she took a close look at the moles that dotted my physical landscape. There was one in particular that looked a bit iffy to her and she said that it might be problematic in the future. Her suggesting to remove it to avoid an issue later was re-adjusted after discovering the limitations of my insurance coverage.

With a husband in a Ph.D program, we were lucky to have any coverage, even the bare bones policy he was able to get through the University. It did not cover mole removal that ” might ” be a problem in the future and as I was working a job that provided no health insurance and frankly not enough money to spare for the out of pocket costs involved in the procedure, I walked out of her office thinking I would just keep an eye on it.

Even though I was concerned, the pressures of a husband in graduate school, the needs of a young child, and the struggle involved in trying to pay for what was a very lean living, I looked at the mole a time or two and then forgot about the spot I had been warned to watch. Had it been in a more obvious place like my face, it would have been easier to see the future before it happened.

By 33, I was divorced and struggling to build a career in pharmaceutical sales while juggling parenting roles and the early beginnings of a social life as a single woman again. I was also unknowingly on the edge of something bigger than I had ever faced. On the morning of Christmas Eve, I felt a strange compulsion to check the mole I had not thought about for months. I was rushing around trying to get ready for the evening ahead and the next day with all of the places my daughter and I would need on be Christmas Day when I suddenly felt compelled to stop and look at the spot on my back.

After twisting myself into a position I where could see the shaded place on my shoulder in the bedroom mirror, I found that I needed more light to see it properly and went into the only bathroom in the house to try to get a clearer look. Standing on the toilet, I twisted myself once again so that I might see my reflection in the mirror of the old medicine chest on the wall.

I knew in the moment I saw it that I was looking at cancer. That’s a melanoma, I said to myself and wondered who I might call. No one was taking new patients that day and I could not be seen by a physician until a week into the new year. The doctor who saw me would not commit to a cancer diagnosis and seemed to take it off just to give me some peace of mind almost going so far as to suggest it was probably nothing.

I was standing in a phone booth in south Georgia a few days later when I got news. Having called the office to find out the results of the biopsy, the receptionist unknowingly gave me the results when she said, ” We don’t know yet, they’re checking it for levels.” I knew enough even then to know that if they were checking it for levels then it was not going to be good  In 1994, I had no cell phone or internet access and I even though I had known intuitively what I was seeing on the day I found it, her words scared me so I could not think clearly beyond asking the woman on the phone to please have the doctor call me as soon as possible. I was barely in my car before my pager went off and when I called the office, my doctor said, ” I don’t usually do this over the phone, but it is malignant and we should know what level we are looking at within about 24 hours.” I kept it together while we scheduled a office visit to discuss the results and she finished by saying we would talk when I came in about what our next steps would be.

All work for me stopped at that point even though I tried to go on with my next sales call. I left the office before seeing the doctor unable to stay focused on whatever drug I was there to discuss. During the two hour drive back to Marietta where I lived with my daughter, I worried the whole way about questions with no answers and stopped at the first library I came across on my way home. For the next hour or so I skimmed over the pages in the stack of books I had pulled  from the shelves trying to absorb as much information about melanoma as my distracted brain could take in. It wasn’t long before I began to consider that my  future might now be defined by terms like, ” five-year survival rates.”

My daughter was barely six and I was painfully aware while reading that there was a chance that I might not live long enough for her to remember me or to know how much I loved her. I carried those thoughts along the information from my visit to the library with me for the next day or so, stressed as you might expect until I met with my doctor who said something I remember now as, ” It is the best it can be, a Clark’s Level I.”

I had read enough to have a decent idea of what that meant, but even after she took more tissue from my back and the margins came back clear, I still lived in the shadow of a diagnosis that could have killed me if I had I not felt compelled to check the mole that day.

Additionally, there were occasions during my work history that I had to provide my own health coverage as my employer didn’t offer it or I was between positions. My premiums would start out high, but manageable and I would pay everything out of pocket while maintaining a painfully high deductible. Like many in the same position, I thought if I avoided making claims, my premiums might stay reasonable, but they still increased by obscene amounts every year.

Even while I was working for a major pharmaceutical company that had over 100,000 employees all with one particular insurance company, there was still no way that I could intimidate them into behaving with integrity. On one occasion, I tried to do battle the health insurance company to pay for an office visit that clearly fell with the parameters of coverage. They kept denying they had received the claims even though the office had filed it three times and I had filed the same information twice. Multiple phone calls later, including a conference call between the insurance company representative and someone from the doctor’s staff and myself, we both confronted the insurance employe, but got no results. In the end, the office then threatened to send my account to collections which forced me to have to pay the whole bill myself. I was never reimbursed for the office visit and their reason for not paying was that they maintained they had never received a claim. After wasting hours of my time, I gave up, which I ‘m sure is just what the insurance company hoped I would do.

Health insurance companies have held the American people hostage for far too long. Canceling the coverage of people who have struggled to pay crippling premiums for catastrophic coverage only to be told when they receive something like a cancer diagnosis, that they are not covered based on whatever obtuse bit of fabricated nonsense the insurer can cite. By the time the policy holder fights for what they paid for all those years, they’ve either lost everything they own or have died.

I myself was always afraid to admit to my doctor during visits that I’d had cancer. My oncology visits were paid for out of pocket so the paper trail for me was limited. After 10 years of being cancer free, some physicians assured me that I would not lose coverage and encouraged me to be open about it. There were times when I had to tell my doctors, but begged them not to include it in my medical records because I was afraid of being denied future coverage or having my premiums be raised so high that I could not afford healthcare insurance at all. Even without knowing my cancer history, during one of the last times I provided my own coverage, my rates increased so quickly after the first year that I was forced to raise my deductible to $5,000 in order to pay the premiums.

I don’t know what the future will hold with passage of health care reform, but I do know that is an embarrassment to me that so many Americans have responded in such vitriolic ways in the days leading up to the vote. I can only imagine what people will be saying later today as America wakes up. While it may not be a perfect solution, it will make it possible for hard working people to have access to health care coverage with stricter controls on the corrupt power that has been wielded too long by health insurance companies.

Taking the paragraph below from the British Times Online which is not noted for its liberal attitude, you can see how their observations confirm what many have experienced in the US.

” It will also outlaw the worst abuses for which the US health insurance industry has become notorious, including dropping coverage when patients become ill and discriminating against those with pre-existing medical conditions.”

Currently, I live in the UK with my British husband and have coverage under the NHS. So for the first time in my adult life since leaving the Army, I don’t have to worry about my own healthcare coverage. I do still have family in the US and I worry about them a great deal.

I have heard the comments of Americans who have been saying that they don’t want a medical system like the one in place in the UK. They cite negative conditions and situations that I have not experienced here. Quite the contrary, my every experience with the NHS, both personally and by observation involving the care given to family and neighbors has remarkable.

A few months ago during a visit home to America, I tried to share these truths with someone I had been friends with for 31 years. I told him in detail about my own experience with the NHS and what I had witnessed with others here. He argued with me each step of the way, going so far as to say, ” I know that’s what you believe happened, ” while refusing to acknowledge that there might be some benefit to having a similar healthcare model.

He couldn’t tell me what was in the healthcare reform proposal having not read it. All of his energy came from listening to the interpretations of talk radio hosts intent on keeping their listeners passions stirred up over a topic that most seemed disinterested in reading about themselves. His comment this morning on his Facebook page was just as I expected,

” Welcome to the new U.S.S.R.-United States Socialist Republic. “

I am actually surprised to see something so mild after the things he has said in the past.

I understand that many in America will not be happy this morning, but for me this is what life after cancer looks like now that one fear has been removed. Access to healthcare should be for all Americans and thanks to efforts of people who do more than shout about freedom, it now will be.

The Last Walk – Measured Steps

Our friend MIJ is desperately ill. She won’t get any better and it is really bad now. That knowledge sits so uneasily with me that it stays with me in the back of everything lately. I pester John for answers he doesn’t have and ask him to call her partner Ray for updates when I know there is not going to be any good news.

Twenty years ago, MIJ had breast cancer with a reoccurrence five years later, but with good medical intervention and diligent followups it seemed unlikely that this would reenter her life, at least not in this way. In November, she turned sixty with the kind of energy you would expect to see in an athletic forty year old. As active as I am, I always felt pleasantly tired after one of our five hour walks around Dartmoor, while MIJ never showed any signs of fatigue.

She has been in so much pain that Ray said she has given up and her doctors are now focused on just keeping her as comfortable as possible. Already a tiny slip of a woman, her weight loss is shocking when friends stop by to see her and it has been difficult to find the right dosage between controlling the pain and allowing her some lucidity in the short time she has left.

From everything we hear, she is receiving wonderful care from a compassionate medical team who spent weeks searching diligently through symptoms that were so unusual that they thought she might have something they could treat … something with a different outcome than the one she has now, a terminal diagnosis.

Mid November was the last time we saw her. I wish I had known it would be our last walk, I might have talked of other things. From all appearances, everything in her life was fine. She’d just had her sixtieth birthday becoming eligible for her state pension and we discussed the ways a bit of extra cash would be useful to her travel plans. After retiring at 58, she and Ray would often go off for six weeks at a time, walking and camping in conditions that while beautiful, would have left me grumbling. When we saw them in November, they were planning a trip to Nepal with a departure date of next month, and I listened to her explanation of why they were going there and putting off the New Zealand trip I knew she had been dreaming about.

She also told me in great detail of the new kitchen installation she had decided to go ahead with. MIJ has a doll house of a cottage and had wanted to make changes for some time, but had put it off, concerned as are most people on the edge of retirement, about money. The kitchen was finished about a week after MIJ went into the hospital. She never even had a chance to use it. My mind fixates on things like that. I tend to get stuck on thoughts such how she won’t ever cook a meal or wash a dish in the new space. I think about how she will never see New Zealand or swim again with her grandchildren. I keep thinking about how sad it all is and what she will miss.

I have been getting stuck there lately thinking about the twenty years she won’t have, but John encourages me to shift my thinking by gently reminding me of the twenty years of living she has been able to have since her first cancer diagnosis. In those years, MIJ has seen her son marry and have children of his own and she has been able build memorable relationships with her grandchildren who are old enough now to remember her when she is gone. Having twenty more years meant she had time to meet and fall in love with Ray eighteen years ago and travel to places she might never have seen had she been traveling alone.

When I came back from America early in December, I anticipated we would see Ray and MIJ for New Year’s Eve like we did last year, but around the time I began to think we should call them to make a plan, Ray called us to share the bad news. They were with us on our wedding day and I thought we would have more time. That’s often the way it is. You plan for a future that may not come and put off the things you might do or say differently if you only knew that this moment might be all you would have.

It is so natural to say, ” When I retire, I shall do ____ or when I get a new ___, I’ll be peaceful and happy,”  but if anything ever illustrated the point that we should not wait to do the things that matter, the finality of death does in it in an unmistakable way. It is that period at the end of the sentence, the full on stop that says, ” Your time is up.”

As Ray watches over MIJ in the hospital, I find my focus shifting to what we can do to help him. MIJ is getting all she needs now and is barely able to communicate more than a few words a day. He is at her side, all hours of the day, staying late into the night to keep her company as she gets ready for the final part of her journey.

Looking back over my photographs from our last walk together, I saved this one although I wasn’t really sure why at the time. It is not particularly pretty like many of the others that day, but in looking at it now I can see a future that was not apparent to any of us three short months ago.

MIJ, as you can see, walks on ahead while Ray waits, looking off in another direction. She is getting closer to the end now and I feel such sorrow thinking of her dying in a hospital bed. A still and quiet MIJ is so unfamiliar that I can’t quite get my head around it and my mind looks for something more comforting. I find it by picturing her walking, looking as I remember her best and thinking of these last days as measured steps, where MIJ is only going on before us, on a last walk alone.

Saying Goodbye – A Death In The Family

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MICHAEL JOHN BENCH 1926-2009

This is a difficult post to write. Michael Bench, John’s cousin died yesterday morning about 5:00 am. We had received word late in the afternoon on Wednesday that he was suddenly responding verbally to questions when asked by the medical staff. This was in direct conflict to what anyone had expected. We were quite excited to hear about this positive shift as he’d been totally unresponsive the morning before and had planned to be at the hospital at 10:00 the next morning to see him. Before we could get there, the hospital phoned at 5:20 am to tell us that he had died.

All of this has been terribly shocking to everyone. Last Saturday we’d shared a lovely meal with Michael and his sister Mary. John’s eldest daughter came down from London and his brother David was there too along his daughter and her boyfriend who came down from the north of England for the reunion. Michael and Mary had traveled to Polzeath for a holiday and were scheduled to go sailing with us all on Monday. The picture below shows us at a local pub in Cornwall on Saturday evening. The black and white photo above was taken at the same dinner.  Michael and Mary had been out for a small bit of coast path walking earlier that day and both seemed fine with no health complaints.

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I had the good fortune of being seated next to Michael during dinner and we talked about many things throughout evening. There were still many questions I wanted to ask him about and I said goodnight that evening thinking that we’d have plenty of time for that over the next few days.

After a late lunch on Sunday, Mary and Michael went to beach in front of their hotel and before long Michael decided he wanted to go down to the water and changed into his swim trunks. Leaving Mary high up on the hill watching his belongings, he walked down in the direction of the water  and was gone so long that Mary began to wonder where he was …it was about the same time she noticed a commotion on the beach and a crowd gathering.  As she approached, she realized that it was her brother Michael on the ground with someone administering CPR. It turned out to be a physician who happened to be at the beach with his wife. I can’t imagine how frightening it must have been for her to find Michael in such a state.

An air ambulance was called and Michael was airlifted to the hospital where his heart was restarted. At the time and for several days after, no one had any real hope of his survival much less recovery so it was a shock when he began to say a few words on Wednesday evening.

If I’d known Michael for more than the evening I spent with him last Saturday I might tell you more of the regular things you expect to hear when someone dies and people speak of who they were or what they did during their lifetime. I might tell you how he was a Senior Architect who spent his career with the National Health Service designing hospitals and other medical facilities.  I might tell you how in 2003,  his life partner Leo Breach had died on Christmas day after many years together and how at 83 he still lived on his own in London. Or I could tell you about all the ways he was important to his sister Mary, how at one point they’d shared living space for 18 years of their adult lives or about how they’d travel all over with Mary at the wheel of the car even though she was the elder of the two.

If I’d had more time with him I might have been able to share the stories he had from a childhood spent traveling with his family to various parts of Cornwall and how much he still loved to holiday in the southwest of England as an adult. I don’t know all the details of his life, but I do know that walking along the water’s edge that day was something he loved.  John helped me to see it from that perspective as I wondered aloud to him …asking  no one in particular…what in the world was Michael thinking when he put on his swimsuit and headed for the water.

I’d like to imagine him walking across the sand carried along by the excitement of a beach holiday and not think about how it would be the last time he would ever dip his toes into the coolness of the Cornish sea. I’d also like to think that he might have been looking back along the shoreline in the direction of where he’d left Mary when he felt the first pains in his chest and how perhaps in the moments just before he lost consciousness he might have seen his family sitting on the shore whether a fragmented memory remembered from a picture of his family like the one below or perhaps a gathering of those gone before waiting to lead him to the other side…I just hope he saw more than the sand of the beach as he slipped into it before closing his eyes.

The Winchurch & Bench Families On The Beach

“We are the boat, we are the sea, I sail in you, you sail in me”

-Lorre Wyatt

Many thanks to all of you who’ve reached out to us during this time..we are very grateful for your good thoughts and prayers.